Mar 18, 2021

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker COVID-19 Press Conference Transcript March 18

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker COVID-19 Press Conference Transcript March 18
RevBlogTranscriptsCOVID-19 Briefing & Press Conference TranscriptsIllinois Gov. JB Pritzker COVID-19 Press Conference Transcript March 18

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker held a press conference on March 18, 2021 to provide updates on vaccinations and reopening plans. Read the transcript of the coronavirus briefing here.

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JB Pritzker: (00:08)
Well, good afternoon, everyone. I’m here with the Illinois Department of Public Health Director, Dr. Ngozi Ezike to provide an update on the Illinois progress vaccinating the public as well as to report two important and major announcements about vaccine eligibility and about our gradual path back toward normalcy even as we continue our broader battle against COVID-19 to protect our residents, to save lives and of course, to bring this pandemic to an end. Illinois, we have come a long way since the first doses of vaccine were administered in our state on December 15th, and since vaccine supplies really began to ramp up at the beginning of February.

JB Pritzker: (00:58)
As of this morning, over 4.3 million doses have been administered in our state. More than one in four Illinois adults have been vaccinated including 58% of our seniors 65 and over. We’ve established over 900 vaccination locations, launched community outreach initiatives, partnered with federally qualified health centers, safety net hospitals, and critical access hospitals to reach underserved communities. And we’ve set up one stop rural clinics with Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Illinois is a leader among the largest population states in getting first doses into arms. So let’s be clear, much of our success is due to the strength and stamina of our healthcare heroes and members of the Illinois National Guard across the state who are safely and quickly administering doses to our residents. They’re managing throughput at our mass vaccination sites and they’re helping people schedule appointments.

JB Pritzker: (02:07)
More and more people are able to get vaccinated because we have the personnel who are making it happen. Of course, none of this would be possible without increases in vaccine supply. Since it’s their first days in office, the Biden administration has nearly doubled weekly vaccine distribution to states from 8. 6 million to over 16 million doses this week. Deliveries continue to rise and are expected to increase by millions more this spring. With the increased supply, Illinois is now averaging 100,000 vaccinations a day. That’s about 1% of all adults in Illinois getting a shot each day and I expect that number to continue to grow in the weeks ahead.

JB Pritzker: (02:58)
To give some sense of the supply trajectory. Back in December, the first weekly shipment that arrived into Illinois was about 109,000 doses. Again, weekly shipment. This week, more than 800,000 doses were delivered to Illinois. Based on current projections, we expect that that number will surpass one million doses in April. The Biden administration has met or exceeded all of its vaccine projections to date, and I have every confidence that they will continue to do so, that’s why I’m pleased to announce that I’m directing every jurisdiction that receives allotments of vaccine through the State of Illinois to expand eligibility to all residents 16 and older on Monday, April 12th, that includes local health departments, state supported mass vaccination sites, pharmacy partners, and other providers.

JB Pritzker: (04:01)
Additionally, to ensure our more vulnerable residents are prioritized, Dr. Ezike and I will be announcing additional populations who will be made eligible for vaccination prior to April 12th in the days and weeks ahead. Our vaccination infrastructure will continue to grow beyond the more than 900 locations that are available today, and even more national guard troops will be deployed to assist in administering those doses. Additionally, we’re working with local health departments to expand the use of special days reserved for our most vulnerable populations like our seniors. That said, even with all the progress of vaccinating more than a quarter of our adult population and almost 60% of our seniors, and even with the massively increased supply of vaccine, there will still be a need for patience. We have visibility into vaccine supplies approximately three weeks ahead of their arrival. That allows an increasing availability of appointment times.

JB Pritzker: (05:10)
But if everyone tried to get vaccinated on the same day, it just couldn’t be done. Nevertheless, by mid-April we will be at a point where dividing up the population into phases won’t make sense with the ever-increasing supplies that we expect to see. President Biden set the bar for opening eligibility to all adults nationally on May 1st, and his administration has been quick and decisive to allow Illinois, for example, to hurdle that bar two and a half weeks earlier on April 12th. It’s truly amazing to be at this point in our pandemic response if you think back just a few months ago. On this day one year ago, my administration launched our COVID-19 response website, to provide information about the virus that has transformed life as we know it. Today, that website functions as a life-saving Vaccine Finder guiding our residents to the local vaccination locations closest to home.

JB Pritzker: (06:20)
Vaccination sites are continually added to our Vaccine Finder. So it’s worth checking back if you couldn’t find an appointment the first time. A second major announcement today is an update to our public health mitigations. As a reminder, because of the steps that Illinois took, our state never ran out of hospital beds or ventilators or doctors to care for patients even when other states did. So if you were a car accident victim, or experiencing a heart attack or in need of cancer treatment, or a mother in labor or sick with COVID and gasping for air, there was always a hospital available to treat you even in the worst moments of this virus’s transmission. I want to thank the people of Illinois for their incredible efforts at prevention. Your diligence has kept your friends and your family safer and your community healthier. And we owe an enormous debt of thanks to our doctors and nurses and healthcare professionals who have been on the front lines risking their lives to save ours, fighting a war against COVID-19 inside our hospitals that few outside really have yet to see, heroes all.

JB Pritzker: (07:44)
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has not gone away. Each day people in Illinois and across the nation are getting sick and being admitted to the hospital with this deadly virus and people are still passing away from it. But the light that we can see at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter as more people get vaccinated. And I’m more optimistic today than I have been at any time over the last year, and more importantly, the doctors and scientists are too. It’s time to begin to cautiously move toward normalcy and it’s imperative that we do so in a way that maintains all the progress that we’ve made to date. As we’ve seen, there’s more to a strong economy than just ending capacity restrictions. People have to be safe and they have to feel safe too. That’s why moving forward, Illinois will advance towards normalcy with a dial like approach, allowing us to dial it up as things are improving.

JB Pritzker: (08:48)
Over the year, we have progressed from Phase 1 to Phase 4, and we’re on the verge of the ever elusive Phase 5. Our progress toward Phase 5, like all the decisions that we’ve made will be based upon the data. The first move forward will be into the bridge phase, a transition period with higher capacity limits for businesses and gatherings. This will allow Illinois to restore normal operations faster without ignoring the risks attendant with the new variants that we see rising around us. As with all of our decisions, Illinois move into our bridge phase and then into Phase 5 will be based on metrics recommended by doctors. Barring any significant reversals in our COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths and cases, Illinois will move into this bridge phase when 70% of our 65 and older population receives at least one dose of the vaccine. I’m optimistic about reaching that milestone because as of this morning, that number is 58%. Our seniors have tragically born…

JB Pritzker: (10:03)
… 58%. Our seniors have tragically born the brunt of this viruses consequences and we must continue to take action to keep them all safe. The widespread vaccination of seniors as a group marks tremendous progress at overcoming this pandemic. Our next step into phase five measures a decrease in burden on the rest of our population. After a 28 day monitoring period in the bridge phase and assuming no significant resurgence of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, Illinois will resume normal business operations when at least 50% of our 16 and overpopulation has received at least one dose.

JB Pritzker: (10:47)
As of this morning that number is 28%. Even at that point, there is a significant risk to the population of those who may not yet be vaccinated, so I also want to address the requirement to wear a mask which has been in place in Illinois since May 1st. In short, we are able to make these significant moves forward toward normalcy because people will continue to be required to wear masks in public when they can’t maintain proper social distancing. Illinois will lift its face covering requirement when the CDC recommends it. Masks have been one of our best ways to reduce risk in this pandemic and we won’t be foolish at throwing away our best weapon heading into the last lap of this fight.

JB Pritzker: (11:40)
Folks, this is an exciting day, although we still are in the midst of a global pandemic, the end seems truly to be insight. While we’re racing against a tough clock, the new, more dangerous variants that is, it is fully in our power to turn the page on this dark and devastating chapter. These vaccines are our fastest ticket back to hugging our grandkids, eating inside restaurants without worrying about the risks, school dances, community celebrations, all the things that we miss about normal life. Don’t let up. Join me in wearing your mask and getting vaccinated when it’s your turn. Step-by-step we can get out of this the same way we came into it and that’s together. Thank you and with that, I’d like to turn it over to Dr. Ngozi Ezike. Doctor.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike: (12:44)
Yes, good morning and happy Thursday and I think we have lots of reasons to be happy and we have a lot of good news that you’ve just heard. We are seeing the number of people vaccinated increase every day and all are pointing in the right direction for moving towards getting back to doing more of the things we love, in the ways that we love to do them. Our daily case rate has dropped from an all time high in November of 95 cases for every 100,000 people in Illinois, to now just 12 cases per 100,000 people. Also, in November we saw an overwhelming 6,100 people in the hospital with COVID and now we’re currently seeing between 1,100, 1,150 people in the hospital each day with COVID. This is the lowest we’ve seen since we started tracking these numbers.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike: (13:41)
Our daily mortality rate has also dropped. It’s down to two individuals for every million people in the population. Combining these decreasing trends in cases and hospitalizations and deaths with increasing vaccinations, that is clearly a recipe for ending this pandemic. We cannot lose our momentum. To do this, we will continue to wear our masks. We absolutely will not have any mask burning parties. We in Illinois know the importance of masks. We know that we still need to avoid crowds as possible and keep our distance. Vaccination will also keep our momentum continually going forward and we’ve seen a tremendous response from people all across the state wanting to be vaccinated. I am so proud of the people of Illinois. They know how important this precious life saving resource is, what it means for us as individuals, for our families and for our communities and so that’s why the demand for the vaccine is greater than the supply, but that’s for now and as the governor has shared, we believe the predictions from the administration that the supply will ramp up and that we will be able to provide this vaccine to everyone.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike: (15:05)
If you are eligible now and haven’t been able to make an appointment, continue to try. As the amount of vaccine increases, more appointments will open up. Last week IDPH launched the vaccine appointment call center and that’s to assist people who may not be able to make appointments online. Call agents will help individuals who do have access to online services, but need help navigating the various registration sites. Also, if the individual doesn’t have access to online services or can’t navigate the site, the agent will make appointments on these individuals behalf. That vaccine appointment call center number is (833) 621-1284. Again, (833) 621-1284.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike: (15:59)
The increasing vaccination rates are how we will move forward and they are how we will get closer and closer to that herd immunity. Also like the governor said, certain proportions of our residents will need to be vaccinated so that we can move into this bridge phase and then finally onto phase five, which is functionally our return to normal. We will continue to monitor the amount of virus circulating in the state. We will continue to monitor the burden of COVID-19 on our healthcare system. Hospitals will need to have a seven day average of at least 20% of ICU beds available and if metrics show no sustained increase in the mortality rate, if there’s no increase in the COVID like hospital admissions or the number of people in the hospital with COVID, if we monitor that over a 28 day period or two incubation periods, the state will move forward. All three COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use in the United States are effective in preventing hospitalization and death. The more people vaccinated, the fewer deaths we will see and the less chance we have of overwhelming our hospitals. While vaccination is key to getting back to some semblance of normal, we must continue to implement the public health measures. People who’ve been vaccinated should continue to follow CDC recommendations on how to interact with others, as well as people who’ve been vaccinated and people who haven’t been. That does mean for the time being wearing a mask, but as the CDC has indicated, if you have individuals in a private setting, in a home setting, who’ve all been vaccinated, you can loosen those personal mitigations.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike: (17:52)
Again, wearing the mask is not going to be forever, but until more people are vaccinated, this will be the path forward. Testing is also vital. I know we’re focusing so much on vaccination, but we can’t forget the importance of testing. Illinois continues to have some of the most accessible COVID-19 testing in the country. Knowing if someone does have COVID-19 and knowing that quickly, helps the contact tracers identify close contacts, slow the spread and stop future potential surges.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike: (18:25)
We have come so far, Illinois and we have to go just a little bit further. Maybe we’re in the 25th mile of this marathon, but we will stay motivated and we will keep going because the finish line is absolutely insight. Thank you all of the people of Illinois for helping us to get to this point. Now I will summarize comments in Spanish.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike: (18:51)
[foreign language 00:18:51].

Dr. Zeekay: (20:00)
[Foreign language 00:20:00]. And with that, I will turn it back over to Governor Pritzker.

JB Pritzker: (23:17)
Thank you, Dr. [Zeekay 00:23:18]. Happy to take questions from members of the media.

Speaker 1: (23:20)
Governor, the City of Chicago is not following the plan. So to say that Illinois is reopening isn’t accurate necessarily, because the city is a big part of the state. And I’m wondering, are you okay, by getting rid of the phases, are you okay with perhaps a 25-year-old, healthy Lincoln Parker going ahead of a 55-year-old with heart disease from Englewood?

JB Pritzker: (23:48)
Well, let’s be clear that we’re talking about three-and-a-half weeks hence that this change is going to take place. And in the meantime, as you know, not only have we done well with seniors 65 and over, we have an increasing number of people as we opened up Phase 1 B Plus, people who have preexisting conditions to get vaccinated.

JB Pritzker: (24:10)
And so we have a great deal of people who have already been vaccinated that are in these categories, and over the next three-and-a-half weeks, increasing numbers of pods that are specifically focused on those populations. So as to the question of a 25-year-old who’s in the City of Chicago, look, the City of Chicago gets separate shipments from the federal government, separate from the rest of the state. It represents 21% of the population of the state of Illinois, the City of Chicago does, and it can make decisions on its own. It has the ability to do that.

JB Pritzker: (24:45)
I hope that it will move expeditiously toward opening up even more. That’s what we’re doing across the rest of the State of Illinois. And I think that it will be hard for the city if people who can get vaccinated, who live just beyond the city borders are able to get an appointment to go get vaccinated, but people who are within the city may not be able to because they haven’t opened that up.

JB Pritzker: (25:08)
But, again, I think that’s up to them. And then President Biden has said an absolute date of May 1st. And I know that the city this morning acknowledged that they’re hoping to not only get there by May 1st, but even earlier than that. So it’ll match up at some point between April 12th and May 1st, the City of Chicago will move.

Amy: (25:28)
So Governor Pritzker, this bridge that we’re on, the COVID bridge, I don’t know what you were calling it-

JB Pritzker: (25:34)
I just did call it that, yeah.

Amy: (25:35)
… [crosstalk 00:25:35] on the bridge right now, so we need to [inaudible 00:25:37] on 28 days?

JB Pritzker: (25:38)
No, as I said [Amy 00:25:41], were at 58% of our 65 and older population that has been vaccinated. When we get to 70%, we’ll be able to move, that increases capacity, we’ll be able to move to the bridge phase, which increases capacity, allows businesses to move to having more customers so on, getting our economy really moving.

JB Pritzker: (25:59)
And then during the 28 days following that, hoping to reach half of our population, of our adult population vaccinated, which is very possible likely if you look at the supplies coming to the State of Illinois, then we would move to fully open in the state, and people would just be required to wear masks.

Amy: (26:21)
The Phase 5 includes masks?

JB Pritzker: (26:23)
Phase 5 continues until the CDC says that it’s safe.

Speaker 2: (26:27)
Governor, can you talk about what these capacity enhancements, when we get to the bridge phase, what it will allow. I mean, we see the 50 number and [inaudible 00:26:36], what does this mean practically for businesses, weddings, gatherings?

JB Pritzker: (26:40)
It’s greater capacity. I don’t want to go through it because frankly it’s a very long list. And we talked to industries across the board to figure out what the right answer was. We want to make sure that hotels can operate with events. We want to make sure that there are increased ability of restaurants to have more people indoors, and served bars the same way.

JB Pritzker: (27:03)
So you can look, we, we put out a press release about all of the different industries, and how that’s going to be altered in the bridge phase. But again, I think there’s kind of an expeditiousness if you look at these metrics that we’ve set, and how fast vaccines are going into people’s arms, we’re really headed on a very good trajectory to get to Phase 5.

Speaker 2: (27:26)
Governor, based on the number of vaccinations you’re anticipating that are going to happen between now and the coming weeks, do you anticipate an approximate date when you think the state could reach that bridge phase?

JB Pritzker: (27:37)
No, I think we’ll all be watching those metrics. I’ve given you some idea of the percentage of people who are vaccinated every day. And so you could make your own calculation, but I don’t want to set a date out there because it’s always hard to tell how many people will go in and get vaccinated on any given day. But we think that vaccinating about 1% of the population over each day, day-and-a-half gets us there pretty expeditiously.

Speaker 3: (28:07)
Governor, what’s your take on vaccination cards? Do you think the state should issue one and make it mandatory to access public spaces, like you have, for example, in Israel?

JB Pritzker: (28:17)
People get a card already when you get vaccinated. So you get something that reminds you of your second dose, and tells you that you’ve been vaccinated and so on. So that’s something that people could use, but it’s certainly not something we’re looking to make mandatory.

Speaker 4: (28:30)
Governor, April 12th is the headline here for a lot of people in Illinois. When can they begin making appointments for those April 12th vaccinations? And how comfortable are you that the systems are ready to handle this huge number that’s coming down the pike?

JB Pritzker: (28:43)
The systems are ready. We know what software that most of the local public health departments are using. It’s a software that the state also uses, it’s called EMTrack. So we know that that will take care of itself.

JB Pritzker: (28:56)
I think your question is, “Well, when can you start making appointments for beyond April 12th?

JB Pritzker: (29:02)
Typically, so remember how the system works. Not only do we have hospitals, FQHCs, and others who are getting direct shipments from the federal government that’s outside of the allotment to the state, Walgreens, for example, other pharmacies, in a federal pharmacy program, not to mention our long-term health facilities in the state. So they’re all getting their direct shipments, which are increasing. The state is getting its direct shipment, or at least we allocate those direct shipments to all the local health departments.

JB Pritzker: (29:37)
Directly to your question, those health local health departments typically put those appointments up, because they have a schedule for three weeks, they’re able to put them up, let’s say for two weeks, hence. And it depends on the local public health department, they have their own methodologies across the state. We have 97 local health departments. But we’ve encouraged them certainly to put up appointments as soon as-

JB Pritzker: (30:03)
So, but we’ve encouraged them certainly to put up appointments as soon as they know that they have the supply coming, which so far, the federal government has guaranteed a minimum, and they’ve met it every time.

Speaker 5: (30:11)
But Governor, there is still a lot of frustration [inaudible 00:30:14] especially with Walgreens. They have this huge supply. They apologized again this week, third week in a row, for glitches in their system. What is your confidence level with Walgreens?

JB Pritzker: (30:29)
So look, Walgreens is a phenomenal organization that is also partnered with the federal government, trying to deliver vaccines like everybody else. I would like the system to work better. I would like them not to go down. I think they also would like that. And they’ve made announcements about adjustments that they’ve made to their systems in order to deal with that. But look, this is a once in 100 years, and I would say in the history of the United States, a once ever a circumstance where we’re trying to get vaccine into people’s arms immediately. And we’re using every channel that can possibly be used, and the federal government is using every channel that it can possibly used.

JB Pritzker: (31:14)
And so there are going to be glitches along the way in the system. But suffice to say that, that it’s moving at a fast clip, and people are doing the best that they can. I think they’re doing a reasonably good job.

JB Pritzker: (31:27)
Now, moving forward, you said people are frustrated. Look, the phases that we’ve had, which have had phase 1A, phase 1B, phase 1B plus, I think that there are people who are at the edges of qualifying for one of those phases that are especially frustrated. And that’s one of the reasons why I’m really glad that we’re going to move away from this idea of taking sections of the population, because I think there’s some confusion out there. And so I want people not to be confused. And I think because the supplies are ramping up at a good clip, we believe that we can take away that can cause that confusion and allow people to get an appointment relatively fast, after we start on April 12th opening up to everyone.

Speaker 6: (32:13)
We’ll do two more in the room, and then we’ve got to get online [crosstalk 00:32:15].

Speaker 7: (32:16)
There have been more COVID suicides than COVID deaths. We had five COVID deaths, 39 suicides, and still to this day, there are hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans [inaudible 00:32:26] who are still sitting in the basement a year later, depressed, isolation. And everywhere I’ve called, the psychiatric beds in Illinois, 60 miles around, are still full. Is there any possibility you might use some of this COVID relief funds to help those [inaudible 00:32:41]? Because this is a real crisis [crosstalk 00:32:42]

JB Pritzker: (32:42)
Absolutely. And we already have. We’ve allocated some of the dollars that we’ve received along the way and Cares Act dollars for mental health. We recognize this as a challenge. It’s not just for kids. It’s not just a challenge for kids. I think for everybody, it’s just been a very difficult in the history of the world, not to mention the history of the state of Illinois. Our schools are available to open up to full-time, in-person instruction. In fact, we have guided schools in that direction and helped them to make sure they have more and more kids in. We have not restricted that since the beginning of the school year. In fact, before the beginning of the school year, we announced that schools will have the ability to be fully open or go to hybrid or go to fully remote. And those are decisions that get made at the local level by schools, by school districts, which by the way, have ramped up.

JB Pritzker: (33:36)
And so we now have, I think, 40, almost 50%… 44% is the last number I saw, but it’s been growing, of schools that have in-person learning available full-time, and then a smaller portion that are fully remote. And then, there’s a hybrid section of those schools as well. So I think there is… It is moving in the right direction. Especially as more teachers get vaccinated, as people are feeling safer, and as the schools have built out the plexiglass and other capabilities. And then, we changed the distancing requirements in classrooms so that more kids could sit in classrooms, from six feet distance to three feet distance. [crosstalk 00:34:20] Oh yeah, that’s been for weeks now.

Speaker 6: (34:23)
[crosstalk 00:34:23] phase four, are we moving anywhere today? To this bridge, we still have to wait for the bridge. As of today, there’s really no change in phase four today.

JB Pritzker: (34:35)
Except that you know now how we will be moving forward. What I’m telling you is that because we’re at 58% of our seniors vaccinated, and you know that the metric is 70, and you know, roughly speaking, we’re vaccinated 1% of seniors each day [crosstalk 00:34:51].

Speaker 6: (34:51)

JB Pritzker: (34:52)
I’m not going to set a date because again, it ebbs and flows. You’ve seen the vaccine numbers. Sometimes a lot of people go and get vaccinated on a given day, sometimes fewer. All I can tell you is that that’s how we’re looking at it. If you look at 58%, we’re trying to get to 70, I think we’ll get there relatively soon.

Speaker 5: (35:08)
All right [crosstalk 00:35:09] last one.

Speaker 8: (35:13)
[inaudible 00:35:13] what is Illinois going to do when we-

JB Pritzker: (35:14)
Well, that’s obviously something we adjusted last year. We’ll adjust for it this year. Yeah. Thank you.

Speaker 5: (35:18)
All right. Well, we’ve got to get online, sir [crosstalk 00:35:20] a couple more. You got excited.

JB Pritzker: (35:22)
Well, you make it sound like we were done.

Speaker 5: (35:25)
Andy Weber in Peoria, some health departments in central Illinois set said they weren’t aware of this expansion announcement until your press conference today. Is there a reason why they weren’t notified sooner? How will you ensure enough vaccines will be available to counties? And when will some here in central Illinois only began 1B plus last week?

JB Pritzker: (35:45)
Well, there were about six questions in there [crosstalk 00:35:47]

Speaker 5: (35:47)
Yeah. You could start with multiple phone calls.

JB Pritzker: (35:50)
So yeah, we actually have done multiple group phone calls with our local public health departments. They’ve been made aware. If they weren’t on those calls, I’m sorry they didn’t get on them. I know that Dr. [Ezike 00:36:01] and I both have spoken with the bulk of local health department leaders who got on those calls to let them know. So they were notified. I notified the leaders of both parties caucuses in the general assembly. I notified local mayors yesterday, and the mayor of Chicago, the Cook County board president and others.

Speaker 5: (36:27)
Dean Olson at the SGR, would the expansion of vaccine eligibility go from 1B plus to everyone 16 and older in mid-April, or would there be an intermediate step?

JB Pritzker: (36:37)
There may be. We’re looking at allowing specific groups, from now until then… For example, an example of that might be state employees. It might be certain of the vulnerable essential workers that haven’t been included in those announced groups already. Three and a half weeks, in the world of vaccinations, just to be clear, is like a lifetime. And so we have an opportunity here to expand and focus on pods of people that we think are most vulnerable and should try to get vaccinated before we move into the full blown population.

Speaker 5: (37:17)
Dan Patrol at the Tribune, how will you prevent the widespread confusion and frustration that occurred during the early vaccine rollout, as more people become eligible to get vaccinated?

JB Pritzker: (37:26)
Well, by taking away all of the various restrictions on who could get vaccinated, I think that actually clears it up for most people.

Speaker 5: (37:32)
Mike [inaudible 00:37:33] at Quincy TV, it’s understandable to have the entire state move together to the bridge and to phase five, but many people will argue regions or individual counties should move alone, if they’re ready. Have local leaders responded to this plan?

JB Pritzker: (37:46)
No, everybody seems to be pleased with… the people who have given us feedback are pleased that we’re moving as quickly as we are and feel like getting to these metrics is the right way to go.

Speaker 5: (37:59)
Kelly Bauer at [inaudible 00:38:01] Club, do you have concerns about Loretto Hospital’s chief operating officer claiming he vaccinated Eric Trump, and that Trump Tower vaccinated ineligible workers?

JB Pritzker: (38:09)

Speaker 5: (38:12)
Hannah [Mizel 00:38:12], so basically there is no more phase 1C. Should people who qualified in that phase get a vaccine now or wait until April 12th?

JB Pritzker: (38:20)
There has never been an announced phase 1C for the state.

Speaker 5: (38:26)
Okay. I think we pretty much got everything. That’s it. Thanks, everyone.

JB Pritzker: (38:29)
Thank you.

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